Here in the U.K. our property market is somewhat out of control : first-time buyers have become absolutely priced out, permanently. In some areas, to buy even the smallest home requires an income five times the local average.
One of the principal contributing factors to this unhappy state is the ever-expanding army of speculators and associated parasites continually buying up second and third homes that they then rent out at a whacking profit to people who actually have to work for a (modest) living. It’s an absolute epidemic now; over half of all new mortgages are taken expressly for buy-to-let, and the true figure is probably higher (we can assume buyers do not always tell estate agents their intentions).
This unrestricted greed is denying the economic security of home ownership to a very great many mostly young people (including me, obviously) who have been forced into long-term renting while they wait for the market to dip their way.
Unfortunately it seems increasingly unlikely that this is ever going to happen. Current predictions are that prices will continue to increase in future years, but at a slower rate. Big comfort, I’m sure you’ll agree. If the annual rate slows, so what? Fat chance of it ever increasing slower than your salary, so if you don’t already own a property you probably never will. We need it to crash.
Now, although I am a totally law-abiding citizen, I have found that my fists itch every time I walk past an estate agents’ window. Whenever I watch one of those smug suited parasites smarm up to some yuppie to enquire “Buy-to-let?”, I want to hang him by his tie from the nearest lamp-post. Surely there must be many others who feel the same?
Maybe it’s time to get some activism going on this issue. I’d like to do something to test the public opinion - maybe set up a website for people of a similar mind. The initial purpose would be simply to find out how many angry would-be homeowners are out there. I suspect, but I don’t know, that there’s rather a lot.
And on this hypothetical website I’d like to put together a list of activities that people can do to relieve some of their frustration. Some ways of getting at those people driving the greed orgy. Basically I need some 100% legal and harmless methods to mildly annoy estate agents.
Anyone got any thoughts or suggestions on this?